Monday August 24, 2020 ~ VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
Athletes throughout British Columbia will be able to engage in more organized sport activities and some competitive play as the Province moves to Phase 3 of the Return to Sport Guidelines.
“I know athletes and their families have been missing the joy of competition these past few months,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “viaSport has done a great job working with health officials and our amateur sport organizations to ensure we can safely and gradually return to game play. I encourage everyone – players, parents, coaches and volunteers – to continue to work together to make sure we can play and compete safely.”
Reviewed by BC CDC:
The guidelines contain recommendations for how different types of sports now can progressively add activities back again while continuing to adhere to current public health recommendations. This new guidance addresses contact activities, cohorts, competitions, high-performance training environments and travel.
Under Phase 3 of the Return to Sport Guidelines, amateur sport activities may be able to engage in:
* additional training opportunities;
* modified games and matches; and
* league play and competitions within sport cohorts.
Supporting mental and physical health:
“Sport is an important part of mental and physical health for children, youth, families and our communities,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “These guidelines will enable the social and emotional benefits of sport, while ensuring the sports activities remain as safe as possible.”
“Team play and friendly competition are at the heart of amateur sport,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, chief executive officer, viaSport. “Now, as we enter Phase 3, we will start to see more sport activities in communities around the province. While these guidelines offer key parameters for the increase in sport activity, each sport will advance at a different pace depending on community capacity and readiness. I want to thank all of the staff, organizers and volunteers who continue to ensure amateur sport in B.C. is safe and fun for everyone. As we move forward, the health and safety of all participants are our number 1 priority.”
Phasing in during the pandemic:
In June 2020, viaSport released its Return to Sport Guidelines to support the amateur sport sector through the careful and gradual restarting of sports in B.C. communities. With Phase 3, each provincial sport organization can use the overarching guidelines to develop or revise its sport-specific plans. To date, 60 organizations have completed their return to play plans.
As with all other activities, Return to Sport will require a gradual, thoughtful, phased approach. The provincial government plans include lifting restrictions in phases, while closely monitoring population health patterns to minimize risk to British Columbians. British Columbia is Phase 3 of the B.C. Restart Plan. As of August 24, sport activities should adhere to the “Progressively Loosen” stage of the Sport Activity Chart, says viaSport.
Guided by the ViaSport Council:
The viaSport MSO Leadership Council is comprised of BC Games Society, BC 55+ Games, BC Recreation and Parks Association, BC School Sports, BC Sports Hall of Fame, CSI-Pacific, I-SPARC, Sport BC and SportMed BC.
===== Quick Facts (provided by BC Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry):
* There are 72 funded sport organizations throughout B.C. and 4,100 local sport organizations with over 800,000 youth and adult participants.
* Sport and physical activity play an important role in the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of people in B.C.
* viaSport British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization. Created with the support of the provincial government in 2011, viaSport leads the province’s sport sector to build a stronger, more effective system that brings more families to the field of play, more fans into the stands, more athletes to the podium and more sports events to the province.
Return to Sport Guidelines: https://www.viasport.ca/sites/default/files/ReturntoSportGuidelines.pdf